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Journal of Documentation




In several existing studies of Information Encountering (IE), a recurring sub-phenomenon of serendipity arises that indicates the potential for certain unexpected encounters with information to be transformative. The author labels this sub-phenomenon Transformative Information Encountering (TIE), deriving its definition from an application of Transformative Education (TE) theory to existing understandings of IE. This paper aims to discuss the potential for librarians and archivists to promote TIE through everyday practices.
After defining and identifying TIE in existing studies of IE, this article will put models of IE in conversation with theories of TE and propose ways in which TIE may arise in the everyday work of librarians and archivists.
In TE theory, there are three phases of the process of critical premise reflection that may be especially relevant to the work of libraries and archives. These are a disorienting dilemma (phase 1); recognition that the process of transformation is shared (phase 4); and acquiring knowledge and skills (phase 7). Each of these aligns with aspects of IE models.
Practical implications
Understanding how TIE might inform everyday Library and Information Science (LIS) work may increase the positive impact cultural institutions have on the communities they serve.
While several IE studies have suggested the existence of TIE as a sub-phenomenon, none thus far have attempted to define it or apply an understanding of it to LIS work.


Information encountering, Serendipity, Education, Transformative theory


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License